Overweight and obesity affect Americans of all ages, sexes, and racial/ethnic groups. This serious health problem has been growing over the last 30 years.
AdultsAccording to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2008, about one-third of adults in the United States are overweight and about one-third are obese. The survey also shows differences in overweight and obesity among racial/ethnic groups.
- In women, overweight and obesity are highest for non-Hispanic African American women (about 78 percent), compared with about 76 percent for Hispanic women and 61 percent for non-Hispanic White women.
- In men, overweight and obesity also are higher for minority groups. They're highest for Hispanic men (about 79 percent), compared with about 73 percent for non-Hispanic White men and about 69 percent for non-Hispanic African American men.
Children and TeensChildren also have become heavier. In the past 30 years, obesity:
- Has more than doubled among children ages 2–5
- Has tripled among children ages 6–11
- Has more than tripled among adolescents ages 12–19